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Out of Town
Hampton Court Palace   spacer
Hampton Court Palace
Was this where Henry VIII was happiest? Perhaps. But the ghost of his fifth wife still runs screaming through the gallery. By day we can enjoy Henry’s chapel and visit the rooms in which he lived: explore elegant Baroque state apartments, Tudor kitchens, extensive gardens and try to get lost in the maze.
curve right   Windsor Castle   spacer
Windsor Castle
The Queen still lives here in her ‘favourite weekend cottage’. Tudor St George’s Chapel where her parents are buried, Queen Mary’s Doll’s House, an unrivalled collection of porcelain and fine art. And when you’ve had your fill, go down to the river and feed the swans – or cross the bridge to Eton College.
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Stratford-On-Avon   spacer
A market town like any other, but with one great difference – it produced England’s greatest playwright, William Shakespeare. Visit his birthplace, grave and the house where he courted Ann Hathaway. And what better place to see a performance by the Royal Shakespeare Company.
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Visit the Pump Room and take a glass of mineral rich spa water the Roman Baths. Promenade by the honey coloured town houses that Jane Austen knew and tuck into a Sally Lunn tea cake. A unique city that boasts the Abbey where the first king of all England was crowned over a thousand years ago. And they’ve got a pretty good rugby team too.
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Stonehenge   spacer
Up to 5,000 years ago our ancestors began to build this monument. Why? Was it a place of pilgrimage? Or worship? Was it to celebrate midsummer or the turning of the year at midwinter? Extraordinary how much we know and yet don’t know about this World Heritage Site: one of the most atmospheric and evocative locations in the country.
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‘Kent, sir – everybody knows Kent – apples, cherries, hops and women!’ And of course Dickens himself and Chaucer’s pilgrims as they head to Canterbury and the ‘Holy, blissful martyr’, Thomas Becket. But don’t forget the Battle of Britain, Rochester, castles, gardens, Churchill’s country home at Chartwell and Whitstable oysters.
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Oxford   spacer
Dreaming Spires, Brideshead Revisited, JRR Tolkein, Harry Potter films… One of the most photogenic of cities: colleges jostle with each other in the centre of town while everyday life goes on around them. And just out of town on the road to the Cotswolds, Blenheim Palace.
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Salisbury / Winchester
Just two of the many other sites at which I guide. Salisbury Cathedral with its dominating spire and nearby Old Sarum. Winchester, the old capital city of England and Wessex. Connections with King Alfred and of course ‘The Once and Future King’, Arthur himself.
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Cambridge   spacer
Oxford’s great bracing East Anglian rival. King’s College Chapel is its masterpiece, but there are many other stunning things to see and do. Colleges, churches, the pub where Watson and Crick argued their way to the secret of DNA. In the summer vacation you’ll also find students willing to take you punting on the river.
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